Let Us Now Praise Famous Women #3

Deborah Kass (born 1952)
Silkscreen ink and acrylic on canvas, c. 1994–95
Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, New York
© Deborah Kass

Deborah Kass, one of numerous contemporary artists inspired by Stein, devoted the 1990s to reworking Andy Warhol’s oeuvre from a Jewish lesbian feminist perspective. Kass uses photographs of Gertrude Stein, Stein’s family, and Alice B. Toklas to reveal different facets of the author’s history and persona. The silkscreen process she employs here mimics Warhol’s technique. The title of this piece refers to his painting Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1963), a “pictobiography” of Robert Rauschenberg that used family photographs. Warhol’s title points back to the 1941 publication Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, the collaboration between photographer Walker Evans and poet James Agee. Kass recasts the title to highlight her feminist agenda.